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FAH246 - Lecture October 17.docx

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Mark Cheetham

European art during/after World War 2 20 thcentury art gets divided by pre and post world war because the time is so much going on, and new york takes the idea of modern art influx of European artists to new york Pollack, Drawing, 1938 - early drawing - immediacy built in, everything, similar to surrealism images - forms that are free hand and associative - issue with Pollack: degree to which he comes back to figuration/ legible, but somewhat distorted elements - Pollack did not have one style set (from abstraction to figurative images) Matisse, Still Life with a Shell, 1940 - epic territorial struggle (generational and geographical) - “old masters of modern art” (Picasso, Breton etc) – are all developing and are aging – everyone looks to them, and they are still very innovative grouped under the “school of paris” Matisse: Was in the south of france, didn’t leave during nazi occupation Was very ill and went back to many of his earlier motifs Failing health led him to develop a technique and cutted coloured paper because he was unable to paint Icarus , plate 8, 1947, collage From his book Jazz Theme: interaction of music with art (kandinsky, mattise) Free and bold Mimosa 1949-51 Used same technique Suggestion of natural world, and still life New technique for mattisse Picasso, Bull’s head, 1943 and Death’s head, 1944 Also stayed in paris Black and white skulls, lots of dark pieces Picasso is lways experimenting Bulls head is actually two pieces from a bike – “Assemblages” Reaction/reference to the war Picasso, Painter nd model, 1928 theme of western art: artist in his/her studio frequency and notable subtly and brilliance relationship about art: what is it that we are actually painting? Reference to other pieces of art Outside of the image to make reference to his own status Las Meninas, after Velazquez, 1957 Painted versions of this over and over again And it is about the status of the artist Original Las Meninas, 1656, Veazquez Mystery painting, all figures are looking at all of us, it is a mirror and there is not idea what the subject of his painting are Painting the picture that you know see He is looking back into the tradition of western art and challenges them Crisis all arts felt at that time; what is art supposed to do? Can it ever be the same? Can it have the same status as it once did? DUBUFFET, Olympia, 1950 “disrespectful” younger generation of artists wanted to wipe the slate clean also called :l’art brut; Also called: Art informel; art autre” raw, brutal, anti (high) cultural Dubuffet adds a degree of humour and lightness. Not basic disrespect, a little more “playful” DUBUFFET, La metafisyx, 1950 Thick, used mud, scored and incised Not violent, but a lot of working with the surface – not a “painterly working” (meaning not lovely, beautiful) more of a fundamental working to the materials Thought it wasn’t beautiful by critics Playfully ugly, and extremely influential as a new way to go – giving up old conventions but still paiting and staying within the aesthetic CoBrA (1948-1951): Copenhagen, Brussels, Amsterdam Important in parallel ways to dubuffet. People more inkeeping with horrible realities of Europe after world war ii. Goulish, nightmarish, somewhat on the darkest side of surrealism but are not dreamscapes, not a higher metaphysical truth search Important because they offer an alternative for the next generation Sense of vigor” – vigorously pouring fourth Sense of vitality had in common with abstract expressionist (working in parallel, with a common purpose) Constant, After Us, Liberty, 1949 Asger Jorn: St. John’s Eve II, 1952 The Surrealist map of the world, JUNE 1929 Tried to show their interests Alaska is huge, aboriginal culture was an interest to them Surrealist were interested into the “primitive” USA pretty much non existence Russia is the largest, besides the Oceans Kind of ironic: United states was the headquarters for the surrealist movement Most surrealists went there, that is where they migrated to Surrealist Gallery, Art of this Century, NYC 1942 Surrealist artists in USA during this period (30’s and 40’s) - Ernst, Dali, Duchamp (always moving), Matta, Andre Breton, - Canadian artists could seen surrealist work and surrealists - Piet Mondrian - large influx of famous work and people making it in NY - familiarity with European avant garde was higher in NY than anywhere else, because of the productive interaction with American and all sorts of other painters who ended up in NY Max Ernst, Day & Night, 1941-1942 - difference in tonality, of canvas placed over the darker scene - light/ dark – conscious/unconscious - darkness of exploration: being able to see – not being able to see - fragment the destroy landscape (doesn’t look like a battleground) but seems like he is giving clarity into another world Ernst, Europe after the Rain, 1942 - more explicitly of WWII - human figures, but a worldly landscape - suggests purification - feeling (generally at this time) that there had to be a new beginning at this time – art has to do something new and capable of making a new start, by washing away and removing what was there before Surrealism: - still active in france - migrated to the states - remained highly influential - throught the 40’s in the united states, particular elements such as “automatic work” accessing the unconscious,
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